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Thursday, January 7, 2016

Entry level/ junior software developer interview tips?

The company will expect you to be interested in what they do. Look them up online well before the interview, see what they do, what systems/technology they use. Most interviewers like that you know a little about them.

They can ask all sorts of technical questions. Some could be relatively simple like a generic loop program - how would you print the numbers 1 to 10. The job i'm doing now at the interview I was asked to write the code to connect to a MySQL database in PHP. I could have kicked myself on the way home because I knew the code I wrote would never work. It didn't matter though, I still got the job. It turned out they weren't looking for perfection, just the methodology.

They may ask an open ended question like "tell us a little about what you've done". As a new graduate you may not think you have a lot to say, but talk about some of the types of code you've written, the languages you've used, projects, internships and so on.

You have to remember they aren't there to trip you up, they are there to find the best person they can to fill a position. It's hard, but try to relax and not get flustered if they ask a question you don't know the answer to. If it's well outside your experience tell them so, but also suggest how you would tackle the problem or whatever. That goes to show you can think on your feet and will be able to cope with unexpected problems in your work.

One thing some interviewers sometimes do is ask something like "tell us something about yourself". Just cope that as best you can and talk about yourself in general terms, what you like to do outside of work, where you would like to be in say 5 years time.

In the interview for what I'm doing now I was interviewed by three people, but was later introduced to the entire department and was expected to talk to about a dozen people. That can be very unnerving for a lot of people including me, but try and keep calm and answer their questions in turn.

As for the length of time the interviews wil take it varies a lot. some may only last an hour or so, others I've gone to I've been there for about 6 hours, but they will buy you lunch if it goes on that long. It just depends on the company and what position you're going for.

Your college should give you a lot of advice and even arrange for mock interviews. There's also tons of help online -

Good luck to you. Starting out is always scary but you should do fine. 

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